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Government asks CIL to expedite coal export to neighbouring nations

NEW DELHI: The government is nudging the world’s largest coal miner CIL to expedite export of coal to neighbouring countries, including Bhutan, as India has surplus coal.

“What I have asked

Coal India

is to expedite it (coal export)… We have enough (coal). We have 69 million tonnes of pithead stock,” Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar told PTI.

Coal pithead is where the mine is located and the mined coal is kept usually before being transported to power companies.

Asserting that

CIL

can export all the surplus coal, including the pithead and fresh stock, Kumar said the PSU is capable of producing more coal than the actual demand.

“To get anything from Bangladesh is a bit difficult. Coal India is exploring all neighbouring countries, including Bhutan,” the secretary said.

Coal India (CIL) has conveyed it to the coal ministry that it is exploring the possibilities of exporting coal to neighbouring nations, but nothing concrete has taken shape.

The government had earlier said CIL is examining opportunities to export coal with high ash content or high grade fossil fuel to the neighbouring nations.

Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal production.

Fosroc to set up its fourth plant in West Bengal

Fosroc, an international company in construction solutions space, is setting up its fourth plant in West Bengal. It already has three plants in India – one each in Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Gujarat.

Its products include cement and concrete technology as well as chemicals for water and fireproofing and finishing. According to Fosroc management, the new unit would not only cater to eastern and north eastern Indian markets, but also Bangladesh and Bhutan.

Bhutan’s Dungsam Cement makes foray in the Northeastern India market

GUWAHATI: The company which is selling cement under the brand name of Dragon Cement is eyeing the North-East states, North-Bengal and East Bihar.

DCCL is incorporated under the Companies Act 2000 of the Kingdom of Bhutan as a wholly owned subsidiary of Druk Holdings & Investments, an undertaking of Royal Government of Bhutan.

Dorji Norbu, Managing Director of Dungsam Cement told ET that considering its huge production capacity and Bhutan market being relatively small market, DCCL intend to sell about 70-80% of its cement to the Indian market. “We are producing 4130 tons of cement daily. We have invested close to Rs 1088 Crore in this venture. We obtained necessary license to market cement in Indian market in January 2014.”

Fuel crisis for vital installations, defence or neighbouring countries

Oil

transporters movement in

IOC

‘s New Jalpaiguri terminal depot in West Bengal is pushing many vital establishments including defence set ups, airports as well as neighbouring country Bhutan or Nepal towards fuel starvation.

Difference of opinion between two groups of oil tanker owners is at the root cause. One of them, supported by state ruling party TMC sponsored trade Union INTTUC, has kept the terminal gate blocked for the last three days and not allowing tankers to move in. The other, not supporting the blockade, is trying to disperse the first group.

“We could not supply oil since last Saturday. But it has started taking a positive turn following district administration’s intervention today. There will be more rounds of meetings to resolve the issue,” said K. K. Bala, Manager of the vital IOC terminal that supplies 130 million litres of oil a month.

While justifying own standpoint, INTTUC leader Prasenjit Roy said, “We oppose the transportation tariff structure of 2020 offered by IOC that is lesser than 2014 structure. It is a big blow to over 500 workers and owners of over 200 tankers attached to this terminal.” IOC offers a fresh tariff structure once in every five years.

But, “We find the offered rate as good enough,” said Kajal Sarkar, leader of the other faction of transporters.

Beside supplying over 300 petrol pumps in 7 districts, NJP terminal serves many important establishments including Bagdogra International Airport that is utilized by both civil aviation and Indian Air Force.

Indian Army 33 corps, which looks after Sino-Indian border, is fuelled by the same terminal. Large portions of land locked Bhutan or Nepal’s oil requirements are also fed by NJP terminal. Worried about the situation, Bhutan Govt has already urged IOC top brass to intervene.

As per IOC officials, the rate offered by them is almost the same as other PSU Oil Companies in the same area. Notably, it is much higher than the rates of private oil companies.

“Though taken an apparent lighter shape today, the crisis will flare up again as a wide spread major chaos if IOC cannot find any concrete solution of this soon,” said North Bengal Petrol Dealers Association President Shyamal Palchoudhury.

Bhutan’s space engineers to undergo 2-month training in India for joint development of satellite

New Delhi: A team of four Bhutanese space engineers are travelling to India on Monday in order to undergo the first phase of training as part of a program to jointly develop a small satellite for the Himalayan State opening a new chapter in partnership.

The engineers will be trained at the UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bengaluru, India from 28 December to 25 February 2021. Phase-I of the training will involve various theoretical and technical aspects as well as visits to laboratories and test facilities. Subsequently, the Bhutanese team will work with ISRO to formulate the second phase of training, which will involve activities towards developing the small satellite for Bhutan, INS-2B, officials informed.

During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bhutan in August 2019, the Prime Minsters of India and Bhutan agreed to collaborate on the joint development of a small satellite for Bhutan.

Modi and Prime Minister of Bhutan Dr. Lotay Tshering had jointly inaugurated the Ground Earth Station of the South Asia Satellite (SAS) in Thimphu, which was constructed with the support of ISRO. The SAS was launched by India in 2017 as a gift to the countries in the South Asia region, including Bhutan. Recognizing the positive impact that the SAS would have on the socio-economic development of Bhutan in areas such as communication and disaster management, the PM had offered increased bandwidth on an additional transponder as per Bhutan’s requirements, as a gift to the people of Bhutan.

A Joint Working Group (JWG) was formed to implement the project and other related activities, including developing a geo-portal system for Bhutan for natural resources and disaster management, using remote sensing and geo-spatial data. This project is in line with the vision of The King of Bhutan to harness space technology and its applications for the benefit of the country and
its people.

In a recent virtual meeting between the two Prime Ministers on November 20, Prime Minister Modi had announced that the small satellite for Bhutan will be launched in 2021 and that the Indian side will extend capacity building to Bhutanese engineers for this purpose.

India’s close SE Asian partner Singapore expands partnership with Bhutan

SE Asian powerhouse Singapore and the Royal Government of Bhutan on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of Model Technical Training Centres (MTTC) in the Technical Training Institute (TTI) of Thimphu and TTI of Khuruthang, Bhutan as part of growing links between the Himalayan state and ASEAN.

The agreement was signed by Sonam Tobgay, Director of Bilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan, and Simon Wong, Ambassador of Singapore to Bhutan.

The objective of the agreement is to establish the 2 MTTCs which offer high quality practice-oriented skills training for Bhutanese youths to meet the growing demand for skilled manpower in Automotive Technology (AT) and Facility Technology – Mechanical & Electrical (FT-ME), sources said.

The AT programme will be implemented at MTTC Thimphu and the FT-ME programme will be implemented at MTTC Khuruthang. The 2 MTTCs will train up to a total of 160 students each year.

“The agreement is a testament to the close ties between Singapore and Bhutan. the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck visited the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore, in 2015. Since then, there have been frequent exchanges between Bhutan and Singapore on Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Today’s agreement is the result of years of collaboration,” a source recalled.

“His Majesty the King’s clear and forward-looking vision for Bhutan, and his support for the Singapore-Bhutan relationship, have made this initiative possible. The agreement we signed today on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, reflects our two countries’ shared understanding that human capital is a key resource,” Wong said, adding, “It is timely for us to launch this collaboration now, as we look to emerge from the global pandemic. It will complement Bhutan’s broad efforts in enabling the youth of the nation to fulfill their potential.”